Lina Mapes Chats With TMI About Her Debut Single “Off Guard”

Hey Lina! So excited to be chatting with you! You just released your debut single “Off Guard” & it’s awesome! I love it!! What do you hope your supporters will think of the new song?

Hi! I am so excited to be talking to you guys! I am so proud of  Off Guard and am really happy to be able to talk with you about this song! I wrote Off Guard during a really difficult time for me when I just needed to release all of the pent up emotions that I was feeling. Writing this song, expressing everything that I was feeling, is what helped me through such a rough time in my life. We all have that feeling off being caught off guard at times in our life, and it’s happening a lot right now with the Coronavirus and being forced to be separated from everyone. I am hoping my supporters connect with the song and that they will find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. That someone else feels the same way that they are feeling… 

Can you tell us the backstory of this song? Is it based on your life with your friends?

So the backstory for this song is extremely personal for me. I started writing it at the beginning of this year,  immediately after my uncle committed suicide on New Years‘ Eve. It was a very traumatic event for myself and my entire family. We all didn’t expect it, he had been staying with us for the Holidays and had left just the day before. I never expected something like that to happen and neither did my family. I was completely distraught and caught Off Guard, so I put my feelings on paper.

You also have more music coming out in 2020!! Can you spill any details on what your supporters can look forward to from you later this year?!?

Yes! I do have more music planned to come out during 2020, and I can spill a little bit about what everyone should look forward to. Right now I am finishing up the production for my next release song called “Satin Lies.” The song is about how sometimes the most beautiful things hide the best secrets. I can’t expand much more about the new music that I’m going to be releasing, but new music will be released soon

Do you have a creative say in your music? Did you help write all your new songs?

I’m very involved when it comes to creating and releasing my music. I LOVE words, I read a ton and absolutely love writing my own music. I always give a ton of input when it comes to the production of my songs, and the vocal arrangement of them.  I have done some co-writes, even with a Grammy Award-winning artist, but I love to write on my own as well! Off Guard I wrote completely by myself, it was very personal and was the expression of what I was feeling which is why I wrote it completely on my own. I am thankful to my vocal teacher, Brielle Pogue, who helped me with the vocal production. 

What’s it feel like to be releasing your own original music?

It feels amazing to be releasing my own music, especially because this song means so much to me! I’ve been in love with music forever and to finally be able to share it with other people is more than I could wish for. 

Where did your love of music come from?

My love of music really originated from my home life, specifically from my parents. I grew up surrounded by it and my parents always said that I was singing before I was talking!  My parents have two very different genres of music that they like. My mom is completely in love with anything from the ’50s and on and she taught me about all the greats in music. But my mother has no understanding of country music, which is the complete opposite of my father who only listens to country and rock. Having four older siblings, all of them with all of their own tastes in music, I grew up listening to a little bit of everything

Will there be a music video for your new single? If so, can you tell us about the concept of the video 🙂 

Off Guard will have a music video and a lyric video, things have been difficult to plan during this time in the world but I envision it being quite simple and being very straight forward. I would very much like it to be centered on the emotions that surround the song and the music.

What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your music career?

Music and lyrics have always been my bright spot, my happy place in the world.  There are always pros and cons when you pursue a new career or choice in life, but for me its music and it always has been. Now, I know I’m only  15 years old and of course every now and then I think about what would happen if I had never done music. Like if I had pursued playing tennis or just being a normal teenage girl, but I can’t really imagine myself that way.  Music has always been my life and the biggest pro of music is that it’s my center, it’s always there to calm me, and I’ve made some of the best friends in my entire life because of music. For those reasons the pros and my desire to pursue music will always outweigh any con, I may come across in the future. 

Is there anyone you want to thank that’s helped you get to where you are today?

There are so many people that I need to thank for supporting me and helping me with my musical career. First is my entire family who has always been there for me and put up with my crazy everyday life. My vocal coach and mentor Brielle Pogue, my piano teacher Ben and all of my instructors through Pogue Entertainment Group. I also would have to thank my friends, most of whom are musicians as well, they make my life great and always support me, they are invaluable!

What do you think makes your fan community/fandom different from others?

I believe my fan base is different from a lot of others because they are probably people who are deep and are looking to connect on an emotional level. I believe my music tends to focus on different “feelings and emotions” and my supporters find comfort knowing that there’s someone out there who feels the same way they do! 

How would you describe your fans? – what’s three words you would use to describe your fans? What do you want your message to be towards your fans? What do you want your fans to take away from your music and shows?

I believe that my fans, in three words, are insightful, creative, and strong-minded people. The reason I think this is because my lyrics are deep and emotion-filled, and I want my fans to feel that from my songs. My main hope for Off Guard is to show others that are going through a tough time or have recently lost someone close to them, that they are not alone!  All of the emotions they are feeling are normal and that there are people who will understand them. The song also addresses the feelings of survivors and how devastating it is for those left behind. I want people to know if they are hurt, others would hurt with them. 

What do you want your fans to know if they ever see you in public?

I want my fans to please come by and say hi! Give me a high five, or in this world touch elbows or send me a virtual hug! Tell me what you honestly think about the songs and your experiences. I want to know all about you! 

Are you planning any Live Stream shows to promote your new music?

Yes, I am planning on doing a Live show in August to promote my original music! I will be posting the date and time on my Instagram and social media accounts leading up to the day, and you can find me @iamjustlinaofficial. 

What is it like performing in front of your fans? Are you excited to start performing your own music live!?!

I always love performing live and in front of my fans. Because of the climate of the world right now I won’t be able to perform live, with my fans there, for a while and this truly saddens me. I love for my fans to feel the emotional connection and energy when we are together for a live performance. I really can’t wait until live performances begin again and will be planning on other online events until that time.

What do you want your supporters to know that you think is important?

I would like all of my supporters to know that there is someone there that cares for them, someone who will listen and be there for them, I guess, just to know that they are not alone!

What’s something your fans don’t know about you?

Something that people don’t know about me is that I am a really big book nerd! That although I love music and work hard at it every day of my life that I am still just a teenage girl. I have the same fears, hopes, and doubts that they have.

What’s one word you would use to describe what your fans have allowed you to accomplish?

My fans have allowed me to be myself! As my username says Iamjustlina, I have my good days, bad days, and everything else in between. I feel so supported by my fans knowing that they accept me for who I am.

With an already massive fanbase your fans must they have a name for themselves. What do your fans call themselves? And How did that fanbase name catch on?

I don’t have a fan group with a name…yet…but perhaps this interview will help with that!

Many of your supporters are starstruck when they meet you Have you ever been starstruck?

I was in a vocal lesson a while back and I got to talk with someone very famous and I was completely starstruck!! I started yelling and babbling and totally embarrassing myself. 

Is there anyone in the music business you are dying to meet?

There are SO many people in the music business I would LOVE to meet. Harry Styles, Julia Michaels, Selena Gomez, Lana Del Ray, Elton John, Billy Joel, Dermott Kennedy, Dean Lewis, James TW, Bishop Briggs, and of course Pink. I wish that I would have been able to meet Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin but that just didn’t work out

Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists like yourself?

Social media is so important in today’s world, but for teens it’s everything. It allows us to connect with each other and the world. People can be a part of your everyday life and this helps to connect us in a way never known before

What would you say is your biggest dream/goal right now?

A personal immediate goal would be to connect with a charity to work with survivors of suicide and / or suicide prevention. My overall goal would be to tour with a band. I hope to make a career while writing and performing music.

Any last things you want to tell your supporters?

I would like my supporters to know how truly grateful I am to have them in my life! People, our connections, and experiences are what make life what it is! I hope to bring comfort to those who feel different and or alone. Always remember to Spread Love and Happiness…

Thank you for your time! Looking forward to working with you guys again in the future!!

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